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    The Governor of South Carolina Re-instates the Commission of Gen. James Simons who Fires the First Shots of the Civil War the Very Next Day

    Francis W. Pickens Autograph Letter Signed "F. W. Pickens". One page, 4.5" x 7.25" plain paper, Charleston, January 8, 1861, to "the Hon: James Simons." In full: "Dear Sir, I received yours of this date a few moments since, in which you say 'I have the honour to apply to your Excellency to restore to me the Commission of Brigadier General 4th Brigade Infantry which I had the honour to resign, and which of our Excellency accepted.' It affords me great pleasure to restore it and the order shall be given to that effect. I have the honour to be with perfect respect, Yours truly..."

    The largest organized body of the South Carolina State militia was the Charleston 4th Brigade, commanded by Brig. Gen. James Simons. This body of well-armed and drilled troops was constantly under the orders of Governor Pickens and in active service from December 27, 1860, to the end of April 1861. Simons, having his commission "restored" as a Secessionist in service of his state, was in command of the 4th Brigade on Morris Island during first attack on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861. Just one day after the date of this letter, Simons accepted orders from Pickens authorizing him to fire upon the Star of the West, the ship sent to relieve Maj. Anderson at Fort Sumter, preventing the ship from passing, and constituting the very first shots of the war. Anderson protested this hostile action to Gov. Pickens, but Pickens replied that the sending of reinforcements would be considered a hostile act as South Carolina was now independent, and that attack must be repelled. This historic letter is fine condition with original folds.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
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